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Dubai: No full-body scanners

Devices do not correspond to national customs and ethics.

July 6, 2010 9:14 by

Full-body security scanners will not be adopted at Dubai airports, reports the National.

In an announcement this week, Dubai Police’s director of airport security said the devices do not correspond with national customs and ethics.

Brig Ahmed bin Thani said, ““I do not feel that it is necessary for us to implement such a technology while we are operating different methods and have different avenues that have worked so far.

“The use of such a device violates personal privacy and it raises a very sensitive issue for passengers, in addition to the fact that it does not complement our national ethics.”

Full-body scanners, also known as millimeter wave scanners or backscatter X-rays (depending on which technology is used), have raised privacy concerns because they allow authorities to see underneath clothing to the surface of the skin, says the paper, although it adds that special software normally masks some parts of the body.

The rejection by Dubai is at odds with an announcement by federal authorities at a regional aviation security conference last month that they intended to introduce body-imaging machines at airports, says the National.

Brig bin Thani said security measures in place in Dubai were sufficient to keep millions of travellers coming through the airports safe. He noted the scanning technology is not required by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

“The acquisition of such devices is based on the decision of every member state of the ICAO and is not a mandatory measure instructed by them,” he said.

The paper says that Dubai International Airport is also looking at the possibility of introducing face-recognition technology to help enhance safety.

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